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Charlottesville is known for its beautiful architecture and for being home to the University of Virginia, founded and designed by Thomas Jefferson. Guided walking tours of the campus start at the Rotunda. The main street, Washington Mall, is closed to traffic and lined with shops housed in 19th-century buildings, making for a pleasant stroll any time of day. Monticello, Jefferson's home, is a must stop; admiring the house's beauty and attention to detail, visitors can get to know the man who was America's first architect and third president.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is Shenandoah National Park, accessible via the ...

Charlottesville is known for its beautiful architecture and for being home to the University of Virginia, founded and designed by Thomas Jefferson. Guided walking tours of the campus start at the Rotunda. The main street, Washington Mall, is closed to traffic and lined with shops housed in 19th-century buildings, making for a pleasant stroll any time of day. Monticello, Jefferson's home, is a must stop; admiring the house's beauty and attention to detail, visitors can get to know the man who was America's first architect and third president.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is Shenandoah National Park, accessible via the Skyline Drive, offering gorgeous views. Maps of the park's 300 miles of hiking trails are available at the entrance. Some good places to break your trip are: Lexington, with several historical buildings and Virginia Military Institute; Roanoke, an urban city good for a short visit; Lynchburg, whose Community Market was a favorite of Jefferson's; Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, where the McLean House was the scene of a momentous event in United States history: on April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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